Boy racer drove Audi TT sports car at police officer after Whitby drinking binge, court hears

A drunken boy racer who aimed an Audi sports car at a police officer has been jailed for over two years after a judge said his driving antics were “probably as bad as it gets”.

By Court Reporter
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 9:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 9:23 am

Dominic Ryan Hood, 22, had been out on a drinking binge in Whitby before getting into his mate’s red Audi TT sports car and driving off in the early hours despite “struggling to stand upright”, York Crown Court heard.

Hood, who had been staying at the Raithwaite Hall Hotel in Sandsend, had made an earlier excursion outside the hotel grounds and managed to destroy the Audi’s front tyre, said prosecutor Eleanor Mitten.

He then returned to the hotel lobby and told a night porter he was popping out to buy a cigarette lighter from a local service station and ignored the porter’s pleas to take a taxi.

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Dominic Ryan Hood

“He said he was going to drive to the Shell garage to get one,” said Ms Mitten.

“He tried to drive away but got stuck at the bottom of the car park due to the missing front tyre,” she added.

Hood finally managed to drive out of the car park as the porter called police who found the Audi parked nearby.

Ms Mitten said that when an officer got out of the police van and ordered Hood to get out of the car, he simply revved his engine and reversed the car at him, forcing the constable to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The Audi hit the back of the police vehicle, causing minor damage, before speeding off towards the A19 and onto the A171 Guisborough Road, “with the rear end swerving all over the road”.

He drove back to the hotel and told the porter he had been out for a lighter and that police had “smashed up” his car.

He then scuttled off to his room.

Police turned up just before 6am and arrested Hood in his hotel room, where they found some unprescribed Diazepam tablets on him.

Officers twice asked him for a breath test but twice he refused, insisting he had not been driving.

He was charged with aggravated vehicle-taking, dangerous driving, causing damage to a police car and the Audi, driving while disqualified and without insurance, possessing a Class C drug and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Ms Mitten said Hood and his mate had turned up at the hotel late on the night of April 23.

His friend, who was named in court, was the owner of the Audi and both he and Hood smelled of cannabis, according to the porter.

In the early hours of the following morning, they returned to the lobby and told the porter they were going to a Wetherspoon’s pub and would return “very inebriated”.

When they returned about two-and-half hours later, they were both “struggling to stand upright and very drunk”.

At about 3.30am, Hood returned to the lobby and was so drunk he couldn’t find his room.

He then got in the sports car and drove towards the exit of the car park while his mate was asleep in his hotel room.

About 20 minutes later, he drove back into the hotel grounds when the porter heard “scraping noises” outside.

He noticed the Audi had no front tyre and alerted police.

Hood - originally from Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, but now of no fixed address - initially denied all matters, claiming he wasn’t the driver, but ultimately admitted all offences on Monday, May 23, when he appeared in court via video link.

Ms Mitten said the Audi TT was a write-off, having suffered about £18,000 of damage.

Hood had seven previous convictions for 18 offences including aggravated vehicle-taking, driving while disqualified and cannabis possession.

At the time of the offences in Whitby, he was on two suspended prison sentences, one of which was imposed at Teesside Crown in April 2021 for dangerous and drug-driving.

He was also subject to a conditional discharge for battery and threatening to damage property.

Neil Cutte, for Hood, said: “He can only explain his actions by the alcohol and the Diazepam tablets he had taken that night.”

He said Hood was a “foolish young man who is going to pay for his foolishness.”

Hood, who had been on a weekend trip to Whitby with his friend, had a good upbringing but got in with “the wrong people” after splitting up with his girlfriend and moving into hostels.

Jailing him for 26 months, judge Simon Hickey said Hood’s driving antics while drunk “and under the influence of Diazepam” were “probably as bad as it gets”.

Hood will serve half of that sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence.

He was also handed a four-year driving ban.